We hit our breaking point at home today. There were tears. So many tears. It’s the first time my 6-year-old daughter has cried since the pandemic turned our lives upside down.
Our school year is winding down and my daughter sat in on her final Zoom class, seeing her friends and teachers for the last time this school year. Only a few assignments are left, and a trip to school to retrieve her belongings. Wearing masks and social distancing, of course.
As I watched her first-grade teacher announce special awards for each student, I lost it. I quietly sobbed as I watched my daughter beam with pride for receiving the “Caring Award”. I wiped the tears away as she said her goodbyes and tried to gather my composure.
Just then, our eyes locked and my daughter broke down. This young lady, who has showed so much grace and maturity, collapsed into my lap.
“I miss my teacher,” she cried. “I miss my friends.”
Gosh, this is so tough. This season of uncertainty, this temporary feeling that life can be so unfair. In the past few months, I have felt guilt for all that my child is missing out on. I’ve felt sadness for her teachers and staff who are missing their classrooms, and daily hugs and high fives from their students. And I’ve felt fear, not knowing what the future will look like for my child.
As parents we try to hold it together, to show strength and composure, especially in a time where the world around us has changed forever. But mama, just know that it’s OK to let your guard down, It’s OK to let our children see us cry. They are hurting, too.
It took nearly 9 weeks of quarantine, and 2 ½ months of e-learning for my daughter to finally break down. And while my heart hurt watching her cry for all that she is missing, I felt a sense of pride as we hugged tightly.
This unprecedented time has forced my daughter to grow up quickly, to understand a worldwide health crisis filled with death and doom and gloom. But through it all, she has blossomed. She’s become more independent, creative and has learned that you can adapt to whatever challenge is thrown at you.
As we wiped our tears, my daughter smiled and said, “Mom, I’m not sad anymore. I’m going to make my teacher a sign to tell her I miss her!”
Who knows what will happen in August, when the new school year approaches. But one thing I’ve learned in the past few months—our children are resilient. They will be OK, no matter what our new normal may be.